Friday, September 28, 2012

Week 9 - September 25th 2012

Mackenzie was able to send this letter through mission ties before he left the MTC. He called us on Wednesday morning from Brazil to say that he had arrived to his mission safely and that he was happy to be there.
Entao, hoje e meu ultimo dia no CTM! Eu estou muito animado para sair amanha! (Translation…So, today is my last day at the MTC! I'm very excited to go out tomorrow!) OK, back to English. Sometimes it is just easier to write in Portuguese and speak. Just because those are just everyday needs. Tomorrow I leave for Goiania! So excited can’t even explain! Finally going out to do work!

So today we went proselyting for the 2nd time. Really awesome! We went into the best part of Sao Paulo! In the dead center of the city. It’s nicer and cleaner there. Me and Elder Miller gave out 8 copies of the Book of Mormon! And 7 of those 8 we felt pretty good! We started off with 5 for each companionship. And I brought along the one that Mom bought me. Sorry Mom I didn’t have a need for it. I received a paperback tripe here and I bought a nicer leather back triple from the temple distribution center. But think of this, someone could be reading that Book of Mormon right now! And I know which one it is because it didn’t have a proselyting sticker in it with a number to call if they had more questions. We gave it to a woman with 2 awesome dogs, her name was Margarita. And when we were explaining that it was another testament of Jesus Christ, her face brightened up and she was like really? So I hope all is good and she trys to read. And while on the bus back Elder Miller and Elder Luschin did work and basically gave a guy a lesson and a Book of Mormon. That’s right that’s my comp!

Oh so speaking of Elder Luschin, his dad is the architect of the Rome Temple. So Christopher, you will enjoy that. If Luschin doesn’t pop up, his title might which is Ebengruth or something like that. So ya, cool fact!

Umm, next week’s e-mail will have more information of address, new companion, and my whatsup from Goiania. I’m chill with a couple of districts who are younger and I’m giving them this to bring to Mr. Cheney’s (the cookie place across from the MTC) tomorrow.

So everyone I love you. Hope you all had a good week and will have another good week till I shoot off a new e-mail. Oh and by the way Dad, I got the letter with my patriarchal blessing today. Thank you so much. Love you all.

Con amor,
Elder Mackenzie Sant

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Week 8 - September 18th 2012

ola minha familia! so as of this week my district is the oldest in the ctm. since a couple districts left this morning. it was the district who has a friend of mine. its the guy that his girlfriend is now best friends with karlie and so we became friends through them. kinda weird haha. and karlies friend is serving in their stake and she got a pic with him. small world just got smaller.
so i have to type fast because i dont have much time.
soooo last tuesday we had our devotional and it was one of the counselors of the ctm. and he was talking about heros. and he was talking about butch o hare the amazing fighter pilot back in i think ww2. and then he was talking about easy eddy the lawyer guy for al capone. and how easy eddy sold out al capone because he wanted to give his son a better name for the family. well i know who both of these guys are. what i didnt know is that butch o hare is easy eddys son.... umm so how many years did i spend in school and i didnt learn this? and im learning american historia in brasil. nice haha. but ya that was cool to find out.
um i dry cleaned one of my suits this week it was only R$21,00. it needed dry cleaned bad and i wanted it nice for when i went into the field next week.
it was cool on sunday nights devotional when president degn was talking at the end of the devotional and gave all the missionaries a priesthood blessing over the pulpit. it wasnt a long huge one but the spirit was definitely there. he blessed us that all our righteous desires will be granted by the lord while we are on this mission. so that was awesome. also the special number at the end he had the group sing it again right after because it was an amazing version of i need thee every hour!!!! super strong spirit sunday night.
alright onto the really cool thing about this week. yesterday we had proselitismo!!! proselyting. i dont even know how to spell that in english. wow im bad haha. but it was so amazing yesterday. each companionship had 5 copies of the book of mormon and we had 3 hours in the ctm boundries. so me and elder miller went out. the first our and a half was bad. we were talking to a drunk guy with no teeth. i barely can understand portuguese right now but when they have no teeth it is impossible haha. but we tried and in the end he started yelling at us because he didnt like what we said about jesus teaching the ancient americans. after that we talked to 2 guys for a while one guy already had a BoM and they other guy was rude jokingly calling us bad names and his buddy. but we tried to get the other guy to read and i tried sharing my spirit with him to get him to read and he said he will try. then after that nothing. so me and elder miller prayed and right after there was a guy walking on the other side of the street and he was looking at us and we looked at him and we looked away and both did a double take. then we were look whatever lets do it. so this guy already had a copy of the book of mormon and he said he likes reading it and so we asked him if he would like to go to church and we gave him the address of the chapel around here in Casa Verde. one thing about proselitismo around the ctm. people already have like 3 copies of the BoM so we did a lot of you should read this and we felt this and we promise you you can feel this as well. i felt the spirit every time i talked to someone with elder miller. alright so then we went to a different side of the area and we saw an election parade since Sao Paolo is electing a new mayor soon. and so we stopped and talked to one guy and in the end handed out our first copy. soon after that we prayed thanking heavenly father and then like 2 minutes after that talked to another guy and gave him one and he seemed excited to read. and then we prayed again thanking the lord and asking him to help us more. soon after elder miller was like lets go up this hill and i was like ya i was thinking the same thing. first lady we saw we talked to and she never heard about the church or the BoM but she seemed very into it and we joked around because we were slipping up a bit in the portuguese section but the lord was really helping us yesterday. so we gave here a copy at the end and asked her to read the introduction and moroni 10:3-5 and to start reading from the beginning. so that was 3 copies in about 3 minutes and we feel like they were given to the right people. so fast forward about 30 mintues we have 10 minutes left and 2 more copies. so we felt like we were too tired and super thirsty and so we headed back to the ctm and our teacher was like how many. 3. how many do you have left. 2 and he was like you have 10 more minutes you can do it. and we doubted but we walked back up a hill and we saw a man and talked to him and he enjoyed our message and we ended up giving him one. then we saw other missionaries from our district and they were heading back and i was like elder miller lets go we have like 2 minutes and he was like no lets walk up this hill a little more. so we talked to some other people but some already had a copy or 2 or 3 haha and some didnt want to talk at all. so then i was like elder lets head down to the ctm. and he was like your just saying that because you are tired. no i think there is someone who we will give this last one to. well there was. there were a couple women with their kids and we talked to them about the plan of happiness and families and tied the book of mormon in with it and gave our last one out. yippee i actually felt like a missionary yesterday =). felt so good to feel the spirit while doing that. im so stoked for the field. and what was cool is last night elder miller was saying something then immediately stopped and was like. i have a feeling that a person we gave a copy to is reading it right now. if thats real that is so cool and i think it was since elder miller is one spiritual guy.
anyways thats my week. love you all and i wont be able to email next week since i am heading out to the field. i dont know when my next pday is but i will shoot an email off then. love you all and dont send mission ties till i can give you the address of my apartment!! thats the beauty of mission ties is they can know my address and send letters their but my family cant. so hold off on those till next weekish. love you all. até mais!!
elder mackenzie sant

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week 7 - September 11th 2012

alright E Aí de São Paulo Brasil!!

Formeza?? oh wait shouldnt say that its slang ish haha. Tudo Bem?? there we go. ummm ya im gonna say the same thing i have said every email since like the 3rd week. nothing has really happened here... gahhhhh. sorry if these are getting boring at all. im not out in the field yet and i want to be so that something is actually happening.

quick note about São paulo. they have the most private helicopters out of any city in the world. so you have little ones flying around and then you have the really nice ones flying around. and i have seen some nice helicopters because about every 20 to 40 minutes you here a wop wop wop wop. or see one flying across the sky. and some of the little ones are super loud. sounds like a pave low is landing or something.

umm this week i finished the book of mormon through and through. i started around the 2nd week in here and i finished on sunday. first time that i have read it through and through instead of reading till like jacob then slowing down then getting to alma and really slowing down. i dont know why because alma is amazing. then after alma is helaman which is even better. and dad when you were quoting helaman in your letter today i knew exactly what you were talking about because i love that book. and then after is 3rd nephi which is the cookie dough in the cookie dough ice cream (which i miss a lot!!!) the 3 nephites are amazing. then 4th nephi and then AN DEN!!! ill just say that whole thing is amazing because it is.

speaking of ice cream. for the independence day of brasil we had amazing food. and the only time that i have had ice cream while i have been here. its a different kind of ice cream but it tastes amazing!!! best desert ever since everything else is usually a soggy cake haha. during lunch we all had the brasil national anthem on a piece of paper and we all stood and sang it. if i havent said already their national anthem trumps ours by far. its pretty legit!! i like singing it. we sing it every sunday night at the start of the devocionals.

ummm today at the temple, missionaries from the são paolo sul mission were there and i was falando. wow im leaving that haha. im typing brasiliamerican right now. i was talking to a american who has been out a year and he says that i am speaking pretty good portuguese for only being a missionary for eight weeks. and he gave me a dragonball z sticker and his comp was like what?! where did you get those haha. missionaries are crazy and awesome haha.

so ya i think thats all i got for this week. tchão!!!

elder mackenzie sant

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Week 6 - September 4th 2012

ok this week i really need to think of what to write because everything is the same here.  every single day and night and next day and night haha.  whats weird to think is that today would be the day that i would have originally left!!! weird!!!! and i wouldnt be here till tomorrow. ummm so let me think of some stuff that could be exciting.

a big guy here named Fabian gave me one of his ties.  it originally started as a joke like oh cool tie.  and he was like you want.  i was like yeah.  and i was like brinca brinca, i joke i joke basically.  but he was like no serio which is im serious.  so next week he was like eu tenho a gravata.  i have the tie.  i was like serio??? and so he had me follow him to the front of the ctm and he went to his car and got the tie for me.  so i have a tie that has a pretty cool story to it now.

ummm  on sunday we sang Lead Kindly Light.  there were like 14 or 15 of us singing.  and it was a capella.  the beginning sounded amazing but after the first key change it sort of went south.  the basses and baritones were on key but first and second tenor were floating somewhere.  i think they were trying to hard to get to heaven on some of those high notes.  bada chh (drum set).. i know bad joke, thats what you get when your son is going crazy in here haha.  i have the audio recorded but i probably wont send it home since it sounds so horrible haha.

oh another cool thing.  elder richards who isnt my companion but he is a good friend now, he lives in orem.  well he lives on the border of orem and lindon by where that allens used to be.  right where aunt christine used to live.  cuz i was trying to find out where he lives and he said orem and i was like oh my aunt used to live right on the border and there was a grocery store right behind her house and he was like ALlens?  so ya he lives seriously like 2 minutes away.  just go up that street like 3 more streets and turn right.  so ya.  multiple times in my life i have been 2 minutes away from a would be a roomate here in the ctm.... crazy!!!

so apparently yesterday was labor day... wouldnt have known.  eu sou um brasileiro agora!!! i am a brasillian now!!! no but really since they dont have that here and i never knew the dates of labor day or memorial day.  i always felt like they were the same.

im sitting here thinking what to write... ummmmm... ive got nothing descolpa!!!  tenha um boa semana tudo mundo!!!

elder mackenzie sant

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Week 5 - August 27th 2012

Here's the letter for the week!
week 5 right?  i have no idea since time just flies by!! this week has gone by super fast.  something our district says now is its thursday then it is sunday then it is pday then it is thursday again.  random but that is how it is.  im starting my 6th week here and i just want to be out haha.  i uploaded a few more pictures on to dropbox so you guys can post them.  one is of a bulbasaur, pikachu, squirtle and charmander.  i have cracked here. and by that i mean i have gone loco haha.  those are just hand drawn haha.  and in reply to moms question about a few graphics i have sent.  yes i drew those.  and yes i came up with those.  one says elder and one says district 30A since that is our district.  just some doodling.  i really want to be in goiania.

what else, in response to dads question in his mission ties letter i got today.  my schedule is this.  wake up at 6 30 take a shower, get dressed, go eat breakfast which is the same thing every morning with the occasional days of cereal (which is only frosted flakes or chocolate frosted flakes).  breakfast is bananas, cream of wheat looking stuff, bread cheese and some meat.  we put the cheese and meat in the bread and they have electric panini makers here so we cook those up, slather them in butter and eat up.  on days they have the goat cheese i just have meat.  and on days they have just the goat cheese and no meat i make toast haha.  umm after that i brush my teeth and grab my stuff and head down with my comp for personal study, then companion study, then language study.  after that is usually gym (best part of the day).  after gym i take a shower and get dressed and the district goes down to a computer lab to study on a computer language program made by BYU which is called TALL. after that is lunch which has beans and rice (all day every day beans and rice) usually 2 different kinds of meat, either potatoes or pasta, and lots of fruit.  they have a fruit soup kind of thing which is just a lot of fruit with all the juices mixed together. i eat that a lot.  the desserts, they are kinda iffy though the cake is usually soggy at the bottom but apparently that is what they eat here.  umm after lunch we have class with our first instructor Irmao Armazan, and then we usually teach him as a fake investigator.  then there is dinner, pretty much the same as lunch.  just put beans and rice on what they give you, put on some cilantro, hot sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil and mix it all together.  ive done that every day for the past month now.  after dinner is usually some sort of personal study time.  then instructor b time.  that is irmao leo, the itallian guy.  super happy all the time!! love him.  he speaks portuguese with an italian/portuguese accent.  he teaches us different things then we teach him as a fake investigator.  i like teaching him more than the other teacher because the other one on purpose is being a pain.  but that is gonna happen so i am still thankful.

what else.... so last pdays devotional we watched most of president monsons birthday special they had and that was pretty cool.  the kitchen made a birthday cake and we ate the yummy/soggy cake and sang happy birthday even though his brithday was like 3 days before that.  on thursday we started practicing lead kindly light.  sounds freakin awesome!!! the couple of key changes the other 15 elders and i are just like awwww thats awesome!!  the first key change is the best though.  we had another practice last night where we went through the whole song and tried it a capella.  it still needs some work but it is going to sound amazing.  good thing i can sing low because the bass part on this song has some reaaaalllyyy low parts.  but it is going to sound amazing.  i dont think i will be able to actually video tape it but i will give my camera to an elder in my district to record and just point the camera down for the music and sound like what we did when i was set apart as a missionary.  my camera captures the sound pretty good. its not like a phone camera where it is like askl; as;fjasl;k j;asjk f.  exactly like that haha.

ya dad i spent some money sorry haha.  i like that phrase you put in your letter, when in doubt go without perfect for me.  half that money was for stuff i needed because pretty much all my soap and shampoo and shower supplies were taken from my bag.  i have no idea where they went.  so i needed to buy more.  i just didnt have the chance to email about.  descolpa!! im digging the phrases you put in my letter in portuguese what are you using  google translate haha.

oh so cool thing that im pretty sure is legit.  last night when me and elder miller were teaching irmao leo as an investigator (and yes elder miller is the big guy wearing the yankees t shirt, and soo funny that you said maybe thats why we didnt get along at first.)  but anyways we were going to go teach and elder miller just did not feel good.  and he was like elder sant you will probably be teaching the whole time because i cant even think in english right now.  so im like thats fine with me.  we get in there and elder miller just starts speaking really good portuguese and im sitting there like what is happening and i couldnt even understand some of the words.  and irmao leo was understanding the whole thing which we figured out afterwards.  so we were just in awe and we just knew that someone was helping him out last night.  he has had a hard week because last week he found out his dad has cancer and he hasnt been able to focus.  elder miller is a good elder and last night was really cool.  anyways time is up.
love everyone and hope you are all doing good

elder mackenzie sant

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Week 4 - August 21st 2012

Here is his letter this week. He also sent home some pictures which can be accessed over in the gallery.
so what is this thing called time.  ive already been here a month.  i feel like i flew in to sao paolo yesterday.  no for reals i do.  just another week here.  its really hard to think of stuff to write.  ctm life is good, study study study.  language is coming a long.  i have a written letter coming through mission ties for the the family to read.  little personal parts for everyone to read. ummmm really what do i say. 

we went to the campinas temple again today.  i thought it was just a one time thing, but i guess not.  next week for sure we are going to the sao paolo temple.  luckily it is closer.  going to the campinas means that we get 30 minutes cut from our pday activities that we want to do.  for example eat the pizza that dad bought for me last weekk =).  im excited for that.  the cafeteria food is really just the same thing.  beans and rice almost everymeal, chicken and beef every single day, cooked differently or the same as the day before.  the deserts they have are iffy.  you have to look at them a while before you decide to pick one up.  and breakfast everymorning is paninis.  well more like bread with cheese and some meat.  put some butter on and toss it on the electric panini maker.

i was just talkin to my buddy elder richards and he said i dont know what to write about.  i was like neither do i.  sorry.  4 weeks at the ctm is really just the same stuff.  and i still have 5 more weeks here.  if my emails get shorter and shorter im sorry.

tonight we get to watch president monsons birthday special that they did.  that will be for devotional tonight.

i got an email from my mission president with whats what in goiania. it says no mp3 players at all so i dont know what to do about that.  i guess i will ask more when i am in the field.  it also says in the email that i wont be using a backpack or a normal shoulder bag that we need to buy a professional style business briefcase.  weeeiirrddd.  and he said to wait to buy one till we are in the field.  speaking of the field i just want to be out there already.  time is going fast but i actually want to be out where the lord has called me, doing work, and teaching the gospel.

sorry for the short email this week. love you all!!


elder mackenzie sant

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Week 3!!!! - August 14th 2012

Here's Mackenzie's letter from 8/14/12

alrighty sooo sorry for the later letter today.  we have a special speaker tonight and our pday is really messed up.  we went to the campinas temple today since the sao paolo one was closed for cleaning.  really beautiful temple inside and out!!! it just took longer for us to get there and back here to the ctm.  our pday was cut short because of a mandatory choir practice.  the speaker tonight is the 1st counselor in the area presidency for brasil.  pretty stoked for that.  the language is sticking more now.  i have been practicing 20 verbs a days with flash cards and reviewing all the next day as well as starting new ones.  its coming but slowly.  but hey as my teacher said last night, we speak better portuguese than someone learning another language in school.  for being here only 3 weeks and starting our 4th he said that we are doing just fine.

Momma i have sent you a looonng birthday letter through mission ties so you should be receiving it within the next day or so.  i hope you enjoy it =).  dad i got yours today as well and i scheduled my pizza party thing for next week.  and by the way thanks for that and the shakes my roomies will enjoy with me.
my brasilliado roomates left this morning for their missions since they only had to be here 3 weeks.  also a good friend of my roomate left today.  hes been helping us out with the language alot!!! theyve been friends since before the mission.  his distric also left today so the buses to the temple were less packed thankfully.

oh and dad dont worry worry about those jurseys they were like 10 bucks each from a shop just across the street.  its a member who sells a bunch of ties and other mission bags and stuff.  thank you for the letter it was nice to read before i went here to email you guys!!  i hope you and mom had great birthdays.  dad it was your birthday and i was writing the date on something and i was like oh its the 9th.  happy birthday dad.  i said that out loud.  and then i realized it was Peri Tanners birthday as well and i was like happy birthday karlies mom!!!  and then on sunday it was our lovely 4 hour study/nap time and i was writing a letter and was writing the date then realized oh its the 12th!!! happy birthday mom!!!  i hope you all had fun!!

oh so there is this big old guy in my district who is ripped beyond belief.  even the ctm presidents wife asked how he is that big and fit.  he has an amazing voice and i just wanted to sing.  so like 4 others including us 2 from our district signed up for a 12 man a capella song.  we are singing lead kindly light and we start practicing this week.  im sooooo stoked for that.  since ive been here i have just had the strong urge to sing a good song.  i guess those vocal lessons with jeri clinger paid off!!! and if this email is sent to her.  THANKS JERI!!!  even after i quit vocal lessons i still have a desire to sing.  one of the pieces that we could choose was prayer of the children.  i wanted to sing that so bad.  i told sister steadman here who is the executive secretarys wife that i sang that with my dance/singing group in DC at the holocaust museum.  and told her how great it sounded!!  just fyi i had to ask my companion how to spell museum just now.  is that a good or bad sign =P.  oh another cool musical thing.  during sunday nights devotional when we all sing in the choir.  i was in the bass section with my companion and we were running through it and at the same time we realized that in a couple parts it is the same chord progression as the song Canon by Pacabel.  duhhh duhhh duhhh duhh duhh.  and when you read this you are gonna think its just a bunch of duuhhh's

one cool thing that jeffrey r holland said in a devotional at the provo mtc back in march or may that we watched.  he said that us as missionarieshave no right to be less than what primary children, little kids, nieces, nephews, or his grandkids think of us.  we have no right at all.  and thats what he said and that really hit a couple weeks ago.  cause then i started thinking what have i thought about missionaries my whole life.  oh they are soo cool i want to be like them someday and as i started getting older that never changed.  then it hit that i was only a year younger than these guys out there.  and now where am i??  sitting in brasil learning to teach heavenly fathers gospel to the people here.  and i have that reputation on my shoulders as a missionary to not let those kids down and to be just as amazing as i thought missionaries were when i was their age.

i hope everyone is doing good.  and for people back in good old california where it is only 2 50 boa tarde!!!  and for me boa noite!! have a good week everyone


Elder Mackenzie Sant

oh p.s. i bought a card reader today so im going to try and send a few photos to see how it is here at the ctm!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Week 2: Yeeeeee!!!!! - August 7th 2012

Here is Mackenzie's letter from this last week.
So this week has gone by ridiculously fast!!! Me and all my roomates are calling it one big old day!!!  i love it here at the CTM everyone is here to focus on one thing and that is to serve the lord.  ive never been so focused on the gospel in my life and i love it.  the brasiliado elders who are here are only here for 3 weeks and the roomates i have are awesome.  i learn more talking to them then i do in class.  and we dont really have language class that often.  but the language is coming super slowly!!  i know some phrases and stuff but im focusing a lot on the verbs and the conjugations of them all.  SOOOO much.  whats weird is now that im learning a language, some of the french from freshman and sophomore year is coming back to me and im like wait.... this is french.  i need to be thinking in portugues.  i can pray and bare my testimony in portuguese.  not like super long prayers but enought to get the point across.  there is a guy from utah who has been here for 8 weeks and he is actually best friends with a guy from my district, his portuguese is amazing.  i here him talk and both me and elder richards look at eachother like WHAT!!! i wanna speak the language sooo bad.

on to other stuff, the food here is amazing to answer moms question in her email.  every meal rice and beans rice and beans rice and beans.  there is plenty of meat every day!! their deserts are somewhat iffy...  somedays they are good, some days your like what the heck is this, and other days your like ooohhh yeah!! get in my belly!  i make my own little personal chipotle bowl with cilantro rice beans cut up chicken and the hot sauce they have here.  sadly i havent used my cholula sauce yet.  ooh and guess what.  i dont know if i said this last week but... they have GUARANA ON TAP!!!!! oooohhh yeahh.  the wife of the mtc president drinks guarana.  so if the ctm serves it.  its a good drink!!!

so some thoughts i had during the week.  i bore my testimony on sunday.  it was about dads whistle and how familiar it is to me and anyone in the family.  if your lost and you here that whistle you feel amazing.  when i was walking to the tram 2 weeks ago and dad whistled at me and i turned and waved i felt peaceful... sort of.  but i compared that to the feeling of the spirit i get when i pray to heavenly father.  when i pray at night i am straight up talking to him and i feel his spirit and i know he is there for me and listening to me.  and i said that prayer is a powerful thing.  i love everynight returning to that same familiar feeling.

onto some random stuff.  when studying yesterday morning a car drove by the ctm blareing what i believe is a journey song.  the lines go ".... the lights go down in the city..."  and thats all i heard but i recognized it.  apparently in brasil right now american 80's music is huge!!!  other stuff.  the brasil nacional hino is amazing.  swoops the american national anthem of its feet haha.  weird thing here in brasil is that the floor level of a building isnt the first floor like what we would say.  the first floor is the next floor up.  so i am up on the 4th floor and every time i walk the stairs up im like what?!?!?! im only on the third floor.  its because my mind think that since i just climbed 4 flights of stairs that id be done but here im technically staying on the fifth floor.

quote that a speaker said on sunday "if there are no problems, there is no reason to give up!!!" "and that is why we are here, to solve problems.

love you all and hope your all having a great week

elder mackenzie sant

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Week 1 - July 31st 2012

We recieved Mackenzie's first letter this morning.  His preperation days are on Tuesdays, so if you want something to get to him, make sure you email him by Monday night.  Spelling and punctuation have not been edited, the letter below is as we recieved it.